Working together to protect the most vulnerable from fraud

A regional event during Safeguarding Awareness Week 2018 will bring together all the learning from June’s Scam Awareness Month.

Nationally, fraud cost older adults nine billion pounds in 2017.

“Your role in preventing fraud” will be run jointly by South Yorkshire Police and Sheffield Trading Standards at Barnsley Town Hall on Thursday, 12 July and will help those professionals who regularly visit vulnerable people in their homes, such as healthcare workers, to:

  • Identify the methods used to persuade adults to handover money to scams.
  • Identify the signs that suggest an adult is at risk or already being scammed.
  • Explain what help is available to stop the fraud and support the adults who often experience post traumatic symptoms.
  • Describe Operation Signature run by South Yorkshire Police.
  • Outline the role of Trading Standards.
  • Summarise the numbers of adults locally and nationally who are victims of fraud/scams.
  • Identify how this information might help in a work role.

Andy Foster, South Yorkshire Police Fraud Prevention Officer, said “Fraud is a hidden and under-reported crime with victims often in denial or unaware of the criminality behind it. Increasingly fraud is becoming more complex and sophisticated, much of which is targeted at vulnerable and elderly people. The nature of fraud victimisation is not only financial. The emotional impact is significant and includes guilt, misplaced trust and diminished confidence, resulting in detrimental effects on physical and mental health and increased social isolation.

My work takes me across all South Yorkshire and unfortunately, I am seeing some shocking cases where organised criminals are targeting our most vulnerable members of the community. Working with our partners will raise awareness of the scale of this crime, the methods used by organised crime groups who commit fraud and how to reduce the risk of becoming a victim.”

Bob Dyson, Independent Chair of Barnsley Safeguarding Adults Board, added: “We want to fight fraud together. We need employees of all partners who regularly visit our older and more vulnerable residents to be able to spot any signs of fraud, such as scam mail, so that they can intervene and prevent that person falling victim to fraud. Prevention is important because sadly, money lost to fraud is very rarely recovered.

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